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10 BEST Credit Card Processing for Nonprofits: Save in 2024

Dawn Prevete Dawn PreveteFinance Specialist January 13, 2024
January 13, 2024
Not every payment  processor has what it takes to meet the needs of nonprofit organizations. Many don’t offer essential features to boost your fundraising efforts or have steep hidden fees that cut into your nonprofit’s bottom line.

With many payment processors classifying nonprofits as high-risk merchants, it can be difficult to find merchant services for your nonprofit. Few processors offer high-risk merchant accounts, and those that do typically charge higher-than-average fees or force you to sign long-term contracts.

Not only that, but many payment processors focus primarily on in-person transactions, so you might not get any e-commerce functionality at all. This means that you won’t be able to accept online donations.

Fortunately, not every merchant services provider operates this way. Some credit card processors actually offer discounted rates for nonprofits, while others give you free POS hardware and great software suites that can help your fundraising efforts.

I’ve researched dozens of credit card processors to find the services with the pricing, software, and equipment nonprofits need to optimize fundraising, manage their donor base, and reduce their processing costs.

Whether you accept donations in-person, online, or over the phone, PAYARC is my top pick for nonprofit organizations. You’ll get special reduced rates, high-quality POS/mPOS hardware, advanced software for online donations, and more.

Short on Time? These Are the Best Credit Card Processors for Nonprofits in 2024

  1. Expert’s Choice
    logopayarc PAYARC
    PAYARC is a popular choice with our readers
    All-in-one payment platform offering nonprofits discounts and robust fundraising tools.
  2. LMS_Monogram Leaders Merchant Services Industry-low rates, free equipment, and cash advances to support your nonprofit.
  3. promerchant-logo ProMerchant Affordable processing for charities, including those considered high risk.

What We Look For in the Best Credit Card Processing Companies for Nonprofits

Nonprofits have specific needs from payment processors. I focused on the following features when researching different services for this article:
  • Discounted or budget-friendly rates. When most of your funding comes from donations, you can’t afford to lose a significant chunk of your income to your payment processor. Every vendor on this list has highly competitive rates or offers nonprofits a discounted rates.
  • E-commerce software. Whether it’s built-in or integrated, every credit card processor on this list has e-commerce software that makes it simple to take donations online.
  • Fundraising tools. The processors on this list offer plenty of tools to boost donations, including integration with digital marketing tools, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and email marketing services. This will enable you to create a powerful donation pipeline with only a few clicks.
  • Free Point of Sale (POS) hardware. Whether you already take in-person donations or you want to start doing so, a free terminal helps to reduce your costs while making it easy for donors to contribute. These processors offer POS systems, mobile POS devices, and apps you can use with a tablet or smartphone so you can accept donations on site and at events/fundraisers.
  • Zero-fee processing. Surcharging allows you to pass the per-transaction costs of credit card processing onto your donors, which can significantly reduce your payment processing bill.

A Note on Nonprofit Merchant Accounts

While many payment processors will classify your nonprofit as high-risk and charge you higher-than-average fees, some processors actually offer discounted fees for nonprofits. If you are offered a discounted rate, make sure you get this confirmed in writing and check your contract carefully for any hidden fees.

You also need to ensure that your merchant account is set up with the right merchant category code. This is because some credit card providers charge lower interchange rates to charitable organizations, helping to reduce your overall processing costs.

PAYARC offers low-cost subscription-style and flat-rate plans that you can tailor to your nonprofit’s unique needs – regardless of processing volume or purpose. But what really sets PAYARC apart is its reduced processing rates for nonprofits, including wholesale rates for 501(c)(3) organizations. In addition to discounted rates, it offers next-day access to your funds, which can reduce financial strain, increase efficiency, and enable your nonprofit to quickly respond to urgent needs.

You’ll also get impressive built-in tools for managing your donor database,  e-commerce/shopping cart integration, multiple payment methods, and real-time payment tracking. PAYARC provides two secure payment gateways (proprietary and Authorize.net)for online donations/sales. As for free equipment, it typically offers a PAX A920 terminal that comes with its own set of value-added apps or a mobile card reader you can attach to a tablet, laptop, or phone to process payments at fundraising events.

Other features that make PAYARC an appealing processor for your nonprofit are monthly contracts, no setup or cancellation fees, 24/7 phone support, and free integrations like two-way sync with QuickBooks. You can also book a virtual “demo” with a PAYARC rep, who will walk you through all the features it offers.

Features and Benefits

  • 24/7 risk monitoring. PAYARC has a team of fraud prevention experts who will continually monitor your account to help you reduce the risk of fraud and chargebacks. It will even design a personalized fraud mitigation plan for your nonprofit free of charge.
  • Useful integrations. PAYARC integrates with popular software, including e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce, Magento, and Chargezoom. If you accept international donations, you can also integrate one of several secure global payment gateways (Planet Payment, Speedy, RS2, TSYS) and accept donations in over 150 currencies.
  • Fundraising/donor management. Your PAYARC dashboard gives you access to in-depth data for donations and sales, securely stores donor information, and pulls reports to gain insights into your fundraising performance. This can help you increase donations and further your mission.
  • Full-featured mobile app. In addition to its impressive POS and e-commerce tools, PAYARC offers a free mobile app that allows you to manage all aspects of your nonprofit remotely. You can manually key in donations, email or text receipts, and access your dashboard.
Read more about nonprofit rates and features in our expert PAYARC review.

Pricing model Subscription-style, flat rate, and zero cost cash discount
Free hardware  (PAX A920 and Z1 mobile card reader free with some plans)
Software integrations 10+ including, QuickBooks, WooCommerce, Magento, Chargezoom, and more
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 2.49% + 30¢ (in-person)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan N/A

2. Leaders Merchant Services: Funding and Low-Cost Processing for Charities

Leaders Merchant Services (LMS)’s interchange-plus pricing makes it easy to maintain your nonprofit’s financial health. While there’s no advertised discount for nonprofits, LMS offers some of the lowest rates in the industry and monthly fees starting at $9.00. Customer reviews show that rates vary depending on the payment solution you need, so it’s entirely possible for charitable organizations to negotiate a discounted rate.

In addition, LMS offers merchant cash advances as a flexible funding option. You pay this back through a small commission on future donations, so you don’t need to put up collateral or adhere to strict payment deadlines. This is ideal if your nonprofit ever needs a quick finance injection.

LMS is a great option if you’re unhappy with your current service and are looking to reduce your processing costs. With a “meet or beat” guarantee, LMS is committed to lowering your costs so you’ll keep more of the funds you raise. Month-to-month plans with no cancellation fees also give you the flexibility to move to a different payment processor if your nonprofit’s needs change.

Features and Benefits

  • High approval rate. LMS boasts a 98% approval rate, and in many cases offers same-day approvals. If you’ve struggled to open a merchant account for your nonprofit in the past, there’s a good chance you’ll be accepted by LMS.
  • Free hardware. LMS will provide a free Clover or SwipeSimple terminal (POS or mPOS) or free mobile card reader. This hardware comes with useful tools such as Clover Connect’s nonprofit payment solutions and its donor-facing Clover Donate interface to help you optimize donations.
  • Authorize.net integration. This popular payment gateway and virtual terminal allows you to accept payments online and over the phone. It also comes with advanced fraud protection measures and its own customer support channels. You will need to pay an additional monthly fee to use this software suite, however.
  • Recurring payments. LMS offers subscription tools that will let you set up and manage recurring payments. This ability may come at an additional monthly fee, but it’s a great feature for securing ongoing donations.
Read our expert Leaders Merchant Services review to discover more great features.

Pricing model Interchange-plus, tiered pricing
Free hardware  (Clover hardware free depending on processing volume)
Software integrations Authorize.net, QuickBooks, CartManager, Clover and SwipeSimple apps
Transaction fees on cheapest plan ~2% + 0¢
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $9.00
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3. ProMerchant: Low-Cost Credit Card Processing for Higher-Risk Nonprofits

ProMerchant supports all kinds of nonprofits, whatever their size, mission, or risk level. Whether your nonprofit raises funds in-person, online, or over the phone, ProMerchant also offers you the tools you need to maximize contributions. That includes free POS/mPOS terminals, an online shopping cart, virtual terminal, and easy-to-use reporting and analytics tools.

Robust e-commerce features can help bolster your nonprofit’s online presence. The secure Authorize.net payment gateway lets you create a user-friendly experience for supporters by adding a “Donate Now” button to your website or a “Buy Now” button if you sell products to support your goals. It’s just as easy to set up recurring donations to create a consistent revenue stream to support your nonprofit’s objectives.

ProMerchant has cost-saving rate plans for high-risk nonprofits that won’t break your budget, plus you’ll get all the same great features it offers low-risk accounts. Higher-risk organizations also receive additional fraud prevention tools to help them reduce disputes and chargebacks.

Features and Benefits

  • Fundraising add-ons. Several integrations, such as DonorBox, Fundly, Qgiv, and Classy, offer additional features for fundraising. These include donor forms, social media fundraising, crowdfunding, and event management.
  • Inventory management. If your nonprofit sells merchandise to support its goals, you can add third-party integrations like Orderbot, TradeGecko, Cin7, and inFlow Inventory to manage your inventory and ensure popular items are never out of stock.
  • Payanywhere App. Charitable organizations can use the app and free mobile card reader to accept EMV chip and swiped card donations, digital wallets (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay) at events, fundraisers, and in the field. You can also email/text receipts, set up recurring donations, and view real time reports.
  • Next-day funding. Nonprofits on tight budgets will appreciate ProMerchant’s fast payout for processed donations – next day as standard for all accounts. Many processors charge extra for this feature, but ProMerchant offers it for free.
See our in-depth ProMerchant review for more features.

Pricing model Interchange-plus, zero-cost processing
Free hardware  (Verifone, PayAnywhere, PAX, or Ingenico terminal)
Software integrations QuickBooks, Authorize.net (additional software integrations), Clover app market, ProMerchant API (shopping cart integration)
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 3% + 10¢ (credit)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $7.95

Flagship Merchant Services is a great choice for nonprofits that need to get set up quickly and easily. It takes less than five minutes to apply, and you’ll be guided through the onboarding process by a dedicated sales representative. During the application process, you’ll be able to negotiate the best pricing for your nonprofit, so it’s worth asking if there are any discounts for nonprofits. You won’t need stacks of documentation either, making this one of the easiest credit card processors to get started with.

Once you’ve applied, you’ll normally need to wait up to 2 business days to be accepted – however, some businesses can be approved in as little as a few hours. You can then start processing donations the next business day, which is significantly faster than many other payment processors.

You’ll receive your donations within two business days, but you can expedite this with Flagship’s same-day funding option. You’ll have to pay extra for this service, but it’s well worth it if your nonprofit relies on a steady flow of donations to operate most effectively.

Features and Benefits

  • “Free” terminal. Once you sign up with Flagship, you’ll be eligible to receive a free Clover Mini or Verifone terminal. You’ll have to pay a small monthly fee for terminal insurance and maintenance, plus an extra monthly fee for Clover’s software – but not many other payment processors offer this sophisticated hardware for free.
  • iAccess 3.0 business portal. This business management portal is included with your monthly fee and provides you with sales summaries, expense reports, and account activity. It can also analyze customer reviews and industry statistics to show you where your nonprofit needs to focus its marketing efforts.
  • Recurring payments. You can set up subscriptions and recurring donations through Flagship’s virtual terminal. You will have to pay an additional monthly fee to use the terminal, but it’s well worth it if you regularly handle recurring donations.
  • Meet or Beat Guarantee. If Flagship can’t save you money on your current processing costs (or match it), it’ll give you a $200 AMEX gift card. Even if you think you’ve got a good deal with your current processor, it’s worth getting a quote from Flagship to see if they can match or beat your existing rates.
Read our expert Flagship Merchant Services review for more information.

Pricing model Interchange-plus
Free hardware (with small monthly insurance and maintenance fee)
Software integrations Authorize.net, iAccess, MobilePay, Pirq
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 1.58% + 19¢ (in person)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $7.95

5. CreditCardProcessing.com: Optimize Recurring Donations

CreditCardProcessing.com’s subscription-style pricing offers great savings for nonprofits. Even with the higher transaction fees on the Starter plan, the $15 monthly fee is impressively low, making it a good choice if your nonprofit takes in less than $2,500 in donations each month. As you start processing more donations, you can get a discounted flat rate in return for a higher monthly fee.

But the biggest benefit is CreditCardProcessing.com’s partnership with Vindicia. Vindicia is a subscription management platform that keeps track of recurring donations and offers insights for donor retention. You’ll also get Vindicia Retain, which automatically attempts to fix failed transactions. This can rectify up to 30% of failed payments, helping you to recover donations that would otherwise be lost.

With that being said, CreditCardProcessing.com isn’t ideal if you need a steady cash flow. You’ll have to wait 2-3 business days to receive your donations, and there’s no option to pay a fee for faster deposits.

Features and Benefits

  • High approval rate. CreditCardProcessing.com often overlooks low credit scores and doesn’t charge higher fees to high-risk merchants, which is good news for nonprofits.
  • Free terminal. Depending on the plan you select, you will receive either a free Pax or Clover Mini terminal. Acquiring one of these devices for free is a valuable bonus, especially if you accept in-person donations, as neither device comes at a low upfront cost.
  • 24/7 multi-channel support. CreditCardProcessing.com offers 24/7 support via email or phone, so you’re covered if something goes wrong outside of working hours.
  • Data breach insurance. If CreditCardProcessing.com suffers a data breach and you suffer any financial losses as a result, you’re covered for up to $100,000 worth of damages.
Discover more benefits for nonprofits in our expert CreditCardProcessing.com review.

Pricing model Subscription-style
Free hardware (depending on your plan)
Software integrations Vindicia, iAccess, Authorize.net
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 0% + 30¢ (Starter)
Monthly subscription on cheapest plan $15.00

Stax is an all-in-one payment processing solution that offers savings of up to 40% for US-based nonprofits that take in $8,000 or more in donations/sales per month. On the other hand, new or lower-volume nonprofits may do better with a traditional interchange-plus or flat rate plan because Stax’s monthly plan fees can be high, especially for lower-volume charities or those on tight budgets.

Stax merchant account comes with Stax Pay, which allows you to manage payments, create e-commerce shopping carts, and set up recurring donations. What’s more, Stax’s software is included in your monthly fee, making it a great choice for nonprofits that need a variety of software to manage their online donations. Many payment processors charge extra essential software (and typically don’t advertise this), so it’s nice to see Stax include this as standard.

Nonprofit merchant accounts can also get a free terminal for in-person donations. If you need more terminals or want to be able to fundraise at events, you can also download Stax’s mobile app to your smartphone or tablet to use your device as a virtual terminal. This will allow you to set up new donors on Stax Pay or process payments from existing donors that have payment information saved on their accounts.

Features and Benefits

  • Reporting and analytics software. Keep an eye on your nonprofit’s financial health thanks to Stax’s fantastic reporting and analytics software. You’ll be able to track your sales over time, manage your staff (or volunteers), track donation habits by donor, and more.
  • Thousands of software integrations. While Stax only has a few integrations built in, you can connect to thousands of applications through its integration with Zapier. This makes it easy to connect Stax to your workflow and create seamless online donation pipelines.
  • Fraud protection. In addition to helping your nonprofit become PCI compliant, Stax will put risk holds on customer accounts that need additional verification.
  • Credit card surcharging. For an extra fee, you can pass on the per-transaction cost of processing donations to your donors. While you’ll still have to pay the monthly fee, this can help to significantly lower your processing costs.
Read our expert Stax review to see how you can make your donations go further.

Pricing model Subscription-style
Free hardware
Software integrations 15+, including Zapier, Facebook Ads, Mailchimp, QuickBooks, and more
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 0% + 10¢ (in-person)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $99.00

Other Notable Credit Card Processors for NonProfits

7. Square

While Square doesn’t offer discounts to charitable organizations, its free plan, transparent flat-rate pricing, impressive e-commerce features, and ample integrations make it a good low-cost processor for nonprofits. Other pluses are an online store builder and fast payouts – Square will deposit funds to your bank account within 24-48 hours.

Square’s free Point of Sale app (iOS and Android) and mobile card reader can turn your smartphone or tablet into a complete POS solution. You can accept all types of payments (swipe, dip, or tap) with or without an internet connection. Built-in customer engagement software automatically adds donors to a directory and sorts them into groups (loyal, casual, lapsed). You can then design targeted fundraising campaigns using Square templates and monitor performance in your dashboard.

8. Helcim

Helcim offers special benefits to nonprofits, including a secure donor portal and a comprehensive CRM system that simplifies donation collection and donor management. Even better, Helcim passes along Visa and Mastercard’s discounts for nonprofits, reducing your overall processing costs so you can keep a bigger percentage of your donations.

Like Square, Helcim is an all-in-one package that combines payment processing with social/email marketing tools (including QR codes) and an online store builder. Its low-cost, interchange-plus plans are best suited to new nonprofits and small or mid-sized established charities. However, it doesn’t offer a free terminal or card reader, which can increase your costs.

9. POS Pros

POS Pros’ tailored credit card processing solutions for nonprofit organizations can help charities increase donations and manage their donor database. POS Pros will help you choose the best POS solution and software from its selection of advanced, user-friendly POS hardware, including high-end Clover and SwipeSimple devices.

A standout feature is Clover Donate, a specialized application for nonprofits you can add to your Clover Station or Clover Mini. Your charity can customize its donation pages, set up recurring donations, and offer supporters multiple payment options. The SwipeSimple POS system is great for collecting donations at fundraisers and events via cash, credit/debit cards, and checks. Built-in reporting allows you to generate detailed fundraising reports.

10. Chase Payment Solutions

Chase Payment Solutions provides affordable plans tailored for charitable organizations, ensuring that you can accept donations both online and in person while managing processing costs. It offers fairly priced POS terminals and card readers and its QuickAccept mobile app allows you to accept donations with your smartphone without having to invest in costly hardware.

While it doesn’t offer specific nonprofit discounts, Chase’s value lies in its many software integrations that bolster fundraising efforts. Tools like Eventzilla simplify event management and marketing to help you establish a steady stream of support. What’s more, nonprofits can benefit from same day deposits to a Chase bank account at no extra cost.

The Best Credit Card Processing for Nonprofits Can Maximize Donations

Because you’ll always have to pay a fee on each incoming donation (unless you’re using surcharging), it makes sense to find the cheapest credit card processing service for your nonprofit. However, you’ll want to be sure your processors also includes powerful business software in its standard payment packages – or cheaper won’t be better.

If your nonprofit goal is to both save on processing fees and get business management software, then I recommend PAYARC. You’ll get technology-driven e-commerce solutions, analytics tools, fundraising/donor management features, and discounted or at-cost rates.

On the other hand, smaller nonprofits may benefit from Leaders Merchant Services’ industry-low rates and flexible funding options. LMS also helps nonprofits looking to switch processors make the most of their incoming donations.

However, if your nonprofit is considered high risk, I’d suggest you take a look at ProMerchant. You’ll get free hardware for in-person donations, plenty of great e-commerce features, and fair pricing.

If you’re still struggling to decide, here’s a quick comparison of our top merchant services for nonprofits.
Best Feature Best For Monthly fee on cheapest plan Transaction fees on cheapest plan
PAYARC Discounted rates and impressive features that help nonprofits prosper Nonprofits looking for lower rates and the latest fundraising technology N/A 2.49% + 30¢ (in-person)
Leaders Merchant Services Merchant cash advances for flexible funding Budget-conscious nonprofits that need the safety net of advance funding $9.00 ~2% + 0¢
ProMerchant Affordable and transparent processing for nonprofits considered higher risk Nonprofits considered riskier by other processors $7.95 3% + 10¢ (credit)
Flagship Merchant Services Quick application and onboarding process New nonprofits that need to start taking donations quickly $7.95 1.58% + 19¢ (in person)
CreditCardProcessing.com Recurring donation management and optimization Nonprofits that rely on regular donations for a steady cash flow $15.00 0% + 30¢ (Starter)
Stax All-in-one payment platform offering powerful business software Modern nonprofits that process most of their donations online $99.00 0% + 10¢ (in-person)


Is PayPal good for nonprofits?

PayPal isn’t ideal for nonprofits. Even though it offers a discounted fee for nonprofits, its rates are still high compared to many credit card processors. PAYARC’s impressive features for nonprofits easily rival PayPal’s software, and PAYARC’s discounted and at-cost rates mean you’ll likely enjoy considerable savings over time.

Do nonprofits pay credit card processing fees?

Yes, nonprofits have to pay credit card processing fees. However, some processors may offer a discounted rate to qualified nonprofits, as well as additional benefits like fundraising tools, business management software, free hardware/mobile card readers, and 24/7 support. You can often save money overall by signing up with a credit card processor that includes these additional services in its fees.

Can I pass on credit card fees to customers and reduce costs?

You can pass credit card fees to customers with surcharging, though you’ll still have to pay the processor’s monthly fee. However, to stay legally compliant, you must display signage that makes your donors aware of this.

How do nonprofits accept payments?

To accept card-present donations, nonprofits need a merchant account with a payment processor. However, because nonprofits are usually considered high-risk, they have fewer processors to choose from and often end up paying higher fees. Fortunately, all of our top credit card processors in 2024 accept applications from nonprofits and provide competitive rates.

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